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Morpheus
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April 20, 2010 - 12:05 pm
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Hi I'm new to this forum and would like to share a couple of problems I've been having recently. The first one started about 2 weeks ago when my hotmail account sent out messages to all in my address book. i automatically thought I had a virus and gave my laptop to a good friend who's a bit of a computer whizz. He was going to run a software program over night which detects and removes viruses. This he did but then it happened again- twice. My laptop has the usual security settings which come with Windows XP Professional but I'm not sure what I can do now. Any ideas?

Secondly about 2 days ago I found that whenever I entered my hotmail account and tried to read any messages the account would automatically close down. This would only happen when I used my work laptop (IBM Thinkpad- which has the problem as described above). However if I go into my hotmail account using my wife's laptop- all is well. I should mention that about 3 days ago I downloaded a security software (Trusteer Repport) which was recommended when accessing my NatWest online. Not sure if this would have anything to do with what is going on? Any ideas?

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Jim Hillier
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April 20, 2010 - 6:15 pm
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Hey Morpheus - First off, welcome to the forum mate.

It sounds as if your Hotmail account has either been hacked or your computer is infected. Generally, when the account has been hacked, the password will be immediately changed and you will not be able to access the account at all. Because you can still access the account, I doubt we are dealing with a hacked account....more likely scenario is a serious malware infection (a virus).

If you can still access your Hotmail account from the wife's computer; do that and change the password immediately. Change it to something strong; which includes letters (including some random capitalization) + numbers. Here is a link to instructions on how to change a Hotmail password:
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_change_my_m
SuperAntiSpyware: http://www.superantispyware.com/superan ... vspro.html click on the blue "Download FREE VERSION" button.

Keep in touch, let us know how you get on,
Cheers.....Jim

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Morpheus
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April 21, 2010 - 8:22 am
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Hi
Thanks for all the advice. In answer to your questions:
a) It is my work laptop which I use at home
b) 'my mate' found some viruses when he scanned it
I managed to change my hotmail password as suggested and downloaded the security software SuperAnti Spyware which detected 380 threats (39- Browser hijacker. Internet Explorer Zone Hijack and 341 Adware tracking cookies).

Unfortunately it would appear that the problem still remains. Hotmail now allows access then after about 30 seconds automatically shuts down and logs out. Very frustrating.

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Mindblower
Montreal, Canada
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April 21, 2010 - 10:56 am
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Chances are HIGH that your computer is still infected. I'd NOT access Hotmail or use any program which can access sensitive information. In fact, I'd NOT access the Internet at all, except to d/l software to scan and clean the computer, until the problem is completely removed. As mentioned, this might take several scans, using different programs. Another thought, might consider doing an online scan. HouseCall from TrendMicro is the program I use from time to time, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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Jim Hillier
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April 21, 2010 - 5:00 pm
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Hey Morpheus - Mindblower is 100% correct, it is most likely your machine remains infected. Once a machine has become heavily infected it usually takes a lot more than just one scanner/remover to effectively cleanup......SuperAntiSpyware is an excellent product but, under these circumstances, no one program is generally going to clean 100% of all infections.

With so many infections there are no guarantees you will ever get rid of everything, even after utilizing multiple removal tools .

Did you try Malwarebytes Anti-Malware? If not, download, install and run a full/thorough scan with that too. If, after that, you are still experiencing problems you may need to look at submitting the machine to a professional.

What programs are included in your current security setup (to help with prevention)? With so many infections getting through, I can't help thinking your current security arrangements must be either badly underdone or seriously inept. Let me know which security products you have installed and I may be able to offer some recommendations to help prevent this happening again.

One important thing to bear in mind mate; the majority of all infections are generally contracted through bad or careless surfing habits. Here is an extract from an article I wrote on helping prevent malware infections:

[i:398qnhlo]One of the most common and avoidable causes of infection is 'user habits' and one of the best methods for prevention is the adoption of a 'safe surfing' policy. Be careful which sites you visit and/or download from, don't be a 'compulsive clicker'...read the information carefully and make sure any link or banner you click on is the right one (the one you are after). There are a number of free browser add-ons/plug-ins available which offer safety ratings and advice for both search results and sites visited; McAfee Site Adviser, WOT and LinkExtend just to name a few. These can be a very useful and lite addition to the arsenal.[/i:398qnhlo]

Cheers.....Jim

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